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Cemetery vandalized near NFHS
Headstones toppled at 19th century site
Cemetary Vandalized 1 es
These headstones were knocked over and broken last weekend in Mount Moriah Cemetery. - photo by Emily Saunders

A northern Forsyth County cemetery that dates back to the 19th century appears to have been vandalized.

The damage includes broken head stones and carvings on a stone that was toppled.

The site lies in a clearing along a trail in woods between the rear parking lot of Coal Mountain Animal Hospital and North Forsyth High School.

Some of the stones are marked with names such as Pirkle, while others have nothing on them.

Martha McConnell, vice president of the Historical Society of Forsyth County, reported the damage to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. The department is investigating.

"There's a church called Mount Moriah that disbanded about 1930 and this cemetery belonged to that church," McConnell said.

She said an Eagle Scout who checks on the cemetery for litter discovered the damage last weekend.

"The church started in the 1870s just after the Civil War and the burials started just after 1880, I believe," she said.

"I think the last burial was around 1930. At that time was when they totally disbanded."

She said there were some members of the congregation who left because they didn't agree with the church's teachings.

"I think the older people that went there finally just died away," she said. "After it was a church it was the Coal Mountain school for a while. For some reason they built another school there and I think it stayed there through 1955."

There is no longer a structure where the schools or church once stood.

"You can tell where the old baptizing pool was," she said, adding that the site is northwest of the cemetery.

McConnell said high school students who park in the parking lot use the trail as a cut-through to campus.

"We really don't know, there's not any residences near that," McConnell said.

She estimated the damage at more than $500. According to a sheriff's report, photos of the vandalism were taken for evidence.